Grand Forks County plans tax cut

Story by Kevin Bonham

The Grand Forks County Commission will consider a 2014 preliminary budget Tuesday that trims property taxes, even with increases in property valuations.

Under the proposed budget, the county’s residential property taxes would decrease by $61.94 for each $100,000 of assessed valuation, according to Debbie Nelson, county finance and tax director. Meanwhile, taxes on agricultural land would drop by $49.54 per $100,000.

The estimates include a 12 percent tax credit the North Dakota Legislature approved this past spring.

“We’re taking the full 12 percent from the state and we’re going to be level,” Commissioner John Schmisek said Monday at a meeting of the County Board’s administrative services committee, which unanimously recommended the proposed budget.

Property valuations rose by 6.4 percent for 2013 in Grand Forks County.

The County Board meets at 4 p.m. on the Sixth Floor of the County Office Building, 151 S. 4th St.

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With the county’s budget in, it’s safe to say tax bills shouldn’t be higher than last year in Grand Forks. Neither the city or Park District are raising their mill rate. Grand Forks Public Schools is increasing its taxes by 21.6 percent, but would still be a decrease in taxes thanks to a 50-mill buydown from the state.

Below is a mock property tax bill drawn up by Maureen Storstad, finance director for the city. With all preliminary budget numbers in, the bill is pretty close to what homeowners can expect.

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